Apart from the recent typhoons, Impossible Pork has also taken the city by storm. The alternative protein brandname launched their plant-based pork in New York back in September, and is slowly making its way through Hong Kong’s retail stores and restaurants this month.
Celebrating the product’s debut, Impossible Foods has joined hands with Tong Chong Street Market and partner restaurants to whip up an array of Asian delights. To promote the sustainable protein option, Impossible Foods held a giveaway of 100 complimentary bento boxes during their launch week. Featuring three different types of Asian flavours, the dainty food boxes showcased the versatility of Impossible Pork in Asian cuisines.
For the whole month of October, the street market in Quarry Bay features various types of Asian delicacies. From Vietnamese and Okinawa dishes, to classic dim sum and even fusion dishes, foodies can enjoy a party on their tongues while sampling the vegan pork.
What’s the hype?
In recent years, the world has witnessed a flourishing industry for alternative proteins. Backed by the rising popularity of veganism and vegetarianism, the worsening of climate issues is also one of the catalysts for its marketability. According to the APAC Alternative Protein Report 2021, the global pandemic has also influenced consumers’ behaviours. A worldwide hit of COVID-19 acted as a wake up call, raising awareness towards health, sustainability, and our food systems.
Most alternative protein options, like Impossible Pork, are designed for those who pursue a healthier lifestyle. Often incorporated with plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals, and healthier fats, these futuristic foods offer a nutrient-packed choice with less animal cholesterol.
Many Asian cuisines have long been known for meat-intensive diets: minced pork in dan-dan noodles from Sichuan, braised minced pork rice from Taiwan, tonkatsu from Japan, and many more. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the demand for meat products has been increasing drastically throughout the last few decades. On top of that, both production and consumption rates are rising faster in Asia than the rest of the world.
Chef May Chow from Little Bao was one of the earliest supporters of Impossible Burger when the food tech company first landed in Hong Kong. “I’m thrilled we now have a more sustainable alternative that does not compromise on the original diversity, deliciousness, and depth of everyone’s favourite recipes,” said Chow, who will be switching out pork for the plant-based version in her restaurant’s dan-dan noodles.
The Alt-Protein Landscape in Hong Kong
Hong Kong has seen rapid growth in the alt-protein landscape. With new plant-based meats introduced every year, the market now offers more options for customers compared to just a few years ago. Apart from Impossible Foods hailing from Silicon Valley and Beyond Meat from Los Angeles, TiNDLE and Karana from Singapore are also popular plant-based options in Hong Kong.
Our own city is also a pioneer in the Asia Pacific market for meat alternatives. David Yeung, Founder and CEO of Green Monday, launched his revolutionary brand in 2012. Based in Hong Kong, the sustainability-oriented company has rolled out OmniPork and OmniSeafood.
“Green Common is a one-stop showcase platform, so people can dine, shop, and experience what this whole future plant-based lifestyle is all about,” said Yeung in the APAC Alternative Protein Report 2021. Partnering with McDonalds, Seven-Eleven, and groceries like ParknShop brought plant-based options into the mainstream for meat-intensive cities like Hong Kong.